The big news today was that the Cubs signed 2 of the 3 high upside high school pitchers they selected (Carson Sands and Justin Steele) and will have at least $1M more to sign the 3rd, Dylan Cease.
And just to show you how good Kris Bryant, he wins stuff even when the Smokies have a day off. He won the Southern League All-Star Game HR derby. Congrats!
On with the recap...
- Chris Rusin worked 6 innings and threw strikes, walking only one, but he got lit up for 13 hits and 5 runs (4 earned) as he fell to 4-9 with a 4.02 ERA,
- Frank Batista finished up with 2 scoreless innings. Undersized and max effort with a low 90s FB, avg slider, and average command, he isn't your typical scout's dream -- but he gets results and he has been doing it for the past few years. He dropped his ERA to 3.86.
- Ryan Kalish hit a solo HR to account for the Iowa scoring.
- Chris Valaika doubled twice in 4 ABs, The stockily built infielder is hitting .290/.355/.419 on the year with 5 HRs.
- Justin Amlung hasn't fared as well at Daytona as he did in Kane County. He went just 3 innings and walked 3, allowed 6 hits and 4 runs, falling to 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA.
- Jose Rosario threw 3 innings and allowed 2 runs. He has always been able to strike hitters out with his 91-94 mph fastball and occasionally good slider, but he has also had trouble throwing strikes, He has a 9.9 Ks per 9 IP rate while walking 4.7 -- but in his last 4 outings he has walked 1 and struck out 18, including no walks and 6 Ks tonight. He has shown better command out of the bullpen,walking 3 and striking out 23 in 14.1 innings, with a a 2.2 GO/AO ratio, yet he has put up a much higher ERA of 6.91 while posting a 3.99 ERA as a starter despite 20 walks and 25 Ks and a 1.1 GO/AO ratio as a starter. Odd splits but I am more encouraged by his potential out of the pen.
- Zach Godley struck out the side in his only inning while walking one. He has lowered his ERA to 5.40 but has a 1.59 ERA in his last 7 outings with 5 walks and 12 Ks in 11.1 innings.
- Not much offense except for the still-hot Willson Contreras, who hit his first FSL HR and raised his line to .287/.326/.393. Solid numbers and I think he can raise that walk rate and slugging pct, to make it even better, He has hit .359 with a .407 OBP since the end of April.
- It was great to see Josh Conway on the mound. The talented RHP out of Coastal Carolina was a steal for the Cubs in the 4th round despite needing TJ surgery. Conway has had some unfortunate setbacks since then but finally hit the mound today and threw 3 scoreless innings, walking none and striking out 3. If he's healthy, he should move quickly. When Conway is healthy he has a mid 90s fastball and one of the better sliders in the organization.
- The bullpen struggled with Josh Davis blowing the save and giving up the tying run and then Frank Carillo losing it in the 10th inning. Neither pitcher was particularly bad, (2 IP, 1 R, 1BB, 3Ks for Davis, 2 IP, 1 R, oBB, O Ks for Carillo) but just gave up ill-timed runs.
- Jeffrey Baez didn't get a hit but got on base 3 times with 2 walks and an HBP and then wreaked his usual havoc on the bases, stealing 2 bases, giving him 5 on the year while scoring a run.
- Oliver Zapata doubled and walked, driving in a run. Zapata played at Kane County and was more of a 4th OF'er there. He's a bit of a grinder with some skills but he was passed by more highly regarded prospects.
- Kyle Schwarber made his debut in LF and chipped in a pair of hits and an RBI. He is now 9 for his first 16 (.563) with 2 HRs -- but his stats actually went down with today's merely good performance.
- Rashad Crawford doubled, singled and drove in a run. He's hitting .333 over his first 3 games.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap